Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Good Bye Ali, Dana and Gordon

Yesterday Ali Farka Toure died at the age of 66 from cancer. Playing guitar and traditional Mali stringed instruments he came to be known as the Mali bluesman. He came to international fame when he teamed up with Ry Cooder in 1994 to make the Grammy Award winningTalking Timbuktu.

If you listen to NPR and you have heard the kind of jazzy, exotic music that they play before introducing the Geo Quiz you have heard Ali Farka Toure. The name of that tune is Kaira.

This man took his money (and this is not the equivalent of non-singing singer's pop star money either) and settled in his native Mali to farm. Now his farm is located in the Sahara Desert. He set up irrigation from the Niger River and farmed to feed his small village. Amazing.

Of course I never met Dana Reeve, but I think there is something that sort of shines through in people, even through the television. You either have it or you don't. Grace. Dana Reeve seemed to have an abundance of grace and it just seemed to pour out from her no matter what she was doing.

Gordon Parks was 93. Filmmaker, photographer, director (Shaft),activist, author and composer. Was there nothing that this man could not do. The first American of African descent to work at Life Magazine and the first to write, direct and score a Hollywood film. What a life.

"I suffered evils, but without allowing them to rob me of the freedom to expand". Gordon Parks

1 comment:

The Laundress said...

Hi there Libby,

Well, I had never heard of Ali Farka Toure. After listening to NO music what-so-ever for more than a decade, I got an iPod last year and my world EXPLODED. My public library has 6 Toure cds, all with waiting lists, I am in line and waiting my turn... will buy what I like the best! Thanks for the tip, and he died young.

Dana Reeve died way too young and too cruel that she never even smoked. As a formerly VERY heavy smoker, I always feel extra waves of guilt/empathy for those with lung cancer. And that poor 13 year old son, left behind after both parents die long and slow deaths. Hope the kiddo does okay, who will raise him??

Gordon Parks lived one fine and rich life. 93 is way more years than most folks achieve, and he did more in each one of them then most people do in a lifetime.

so, without your blog, I would have only known about Dana Reeve.

Thank you again!